Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Happy Birthday Eion, Complete With Epic Battles

It's near impossible for me to believe, but Eion is nine today. Nine! It seems like just yesterday, he was a wee thing and I was resisting leaving the hospital and going home to an infant and two toddlers. (You can go back to the archives for that. It was quite a time.)

In anticipation of today, we had his party on Sunday. Now, I am well versed in 8 and 9 year old boys. I was totally smart enough not to have this affair at my house. Instead, we had at Splash Valley, a local pool/indoor water park. E was totally stoked in the days leading up to the party and by that morning, was ready to burst. Apparently, this was the case with many of his friends as well. Which might explain the violence.

We were told we had an hour in the party room and and hour in the pool. As long as it was not busy, I was told, we could probably get into the water early. When I walked in and saw the placement of the party room, I realized we were totally screwed.

Want to spend an hour in a small, loud room with these fellows?

The room had one wall of windows looking out onto the pool, which was where the group wanted to be. 

F dash dash dash.

As soon as the kids started coming in, and their parents left in haste, which I would have done as well, the fight club started. [12:30pm] They all started slapping each other and wrestling. In some of the pictures, you can actually see red handprints. Not to mention the climbing on the tables and jumping off. 

I did my level best to reign in the worst of it, but the kids were having a ball. Once we had them all in the, very loud, room, we moved on to cupcakes. [12:40pm]

That whole process took about 10 minutes. Now I had ten hyper, sugar filled boys. Well played Katie, well played.

Time to open gifts! [12:50pm]

It started in a (relatively) sedate way but quickly escalated to chaos. Ten more minutes down.

A full 80% of the gifts he received were weapons - nerf guns, nerf swords, crossbows etc. Upon seeing this, the boys all grabbed unwrapped, but still in their packages, implements of destruction and the epic battle began anew. They circled the room, beating the stuffing out of each other.

At this point, I threw myself on the mercy of the workers, pointing to the party room and the dynamic within, and begged for early entry into the waterpark. [1:05pm] Thank goodness, about five minutes later we were in.

After that, things were much better. 

Apparently, one of the parents knew someone who was at the pool that day. She described the kids being released from the party room as something akin to a tsunami. She asked, "So your son was at THAT PARTY?" Indeed, we had thrown THAT PARTY.

When we left, we asked E if he had a good time. It was, in his estimation, the best party ever.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Book Report

Because seriously, what does a party girl like me have to do on a Friday night other than blog about books? Can I get a hell yeah? But seriously, I was felled by a nasty illness last week - somewhat akin to a tequila hangover, only without the fun the night before, and had a puking E yesterday. Blogging was low on my list. But tonight, as I await the return of sweet Tim from Velocity Care, a reading recommendation.

I try to pepper in some non fiction into my steady diet of tween post apocalyptic or zombie novels, mostly because when I talk about the things I normally read, people's eyes just glaze over. The latest book on my reading list was Miracles and Massacres.

It is a collection of true stories dating from the founding of the US to present day, none of which I had ever heard about. I love history but you have to admit, history books are, by their very nature, quite dry and tough to get through. But this book was different. All the accounts were written as stories and were subsequently so easy to read. I burned though the book in a few days, Morrigan finished it much faster. 

Seriously, I can't recommend it highly enough.

But now we have to discuss the author, Glenn Beck. 

Hey you lefties! Hang in here with me. First and foremost, this is not a political book. Seriously. And if you let yourself be put off by the author, you are missing out. I checked this book out from the library over Christmas. When my parents came to visit, my Dad, with whom I share very little political ground, saw the book on the coffee table. I'll put some words in his mouth here, but I am sure he picked it up thinking, "What kind of BS right wing crap is my daughter reading now. Glenn Beck! For the love of all that is good and holy." 

But he gave it a chance.

By the time I came downstairs that day, he had read several of the stories and was eager to discuss them. Honestly, I really didn't get a chance to finish reading the book until they went home because everyone was reading it.

Some of the tales are inspiring, some are tragic. But all are compelling. If you are looking for a great book, Miracles and Massacres fits the bill.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Metal Mouth

One look at E's teeth for quite some time left no question that he would end up in braces. It was just a matter of time. After our last check up, our Orthodontist let us know that we might want to consider a starter set of braces because while Eion wasn't ready for the big time, his front teeth were hideously crooked (my adjective,) and kids could be quite cruel (her adjective.)

We don't want to baby our kids but we are interested in saving them from unnecessary pain. And what the hell, we didn't need that $3,000 anyway.

Today was the big day and E was on the verge of tears. Understandable considering his last major dental work was done with yankers. But the promise of a slurpee and assurances from his sister, a braces vet, calmed him enough to go willingly.

A few painless blue braces later and he is on the road to straight teeth! Only years and thousands more dollars to go.

Another Weekend, Another Wrestling Tournament

It was quite nice to walk into this one as "veterans," and have at least a vague idea of what was coming my way. And double nice to have Tim along so I had some backup.

So Maggie, sweet Maggie. She had three rounds this time. In the first, her competitor didn't show up. Score! That is one in the W column. After all, you have to be in it to win it. The next match up ended in a quick pin but no tears, which is pretty darn close to a win. Alas, the last match was not nearly as pleasant and had both Maggie pinned and in tears. But we were done for the day and were able to make a quick escape.

Tim's reaction to the whole thing was bordering on hilarious. As we were walking, we heard a father tell his son, "Now you go out there and kill 'em!" Tim turned to me and said, "Someone, somewhere, is telling their son to do that to my little girl." He also proved a terrible videographer as the camera jerked each time there was a rough fall or an uncomfortable situation. But I understand. This sport is infinitely harder than I thought it would be to watch.

Maggie continues to be at a disadvantage since all the kids in her age and weight class have years of experience. But she soldiers on and seems to want to get back out there and take more beatings.

[Author's note: While possess pictures of Mags from the tournament, I am on media blackout at her request.]

Eion had a decent day. One win on points, two losses on points. Overall, he did well but will do much better when he starts to listen to his coach and stops worrying about the scoreboard, parents, spectators etc.

I'm convinced the pink tie dye socks were the key to victory.

At the end of the day, both kids had 3rd place medals. And we have two weeks off from tournaments.

Friday, January 3, 2014

What? Your New Year's Eve Doesn't End at 10pm?

A few weeks back, I was talking with Ann about how we had no plans for NYE. I told her I'd be happy to host but had no interest in staying up until 1 or 2am. Give me a party that ends at bedtime, I am in. This also suited Ann and the email went out about the potluck, ending early night. Figured if the pre midnight  cutoff was an irritant, people could choose not to come.

Either everyone else is as lame as I am, and by lame I mean smart, or it was the best offer out there. Project early to bed was a go!

Fast forward to December 30th. Maggie came home from wrestling practice (the tournament has not stopped her) vomiting. Hmmm. So she was in bed by 7:30 with a bucket at her side. Come 9am, she was still not moving and it was clear an email had to go out. We fully debriefed the guests and said we would be back with updates as they became available. Though Fiona graciously offered to take over hosting duties, Maggie was soon up and back in the healthy world.

As Fiona and her family had already been extensively exposed to Mags in the last 24 hours, they decided there was no reason to stay away. An email update later, we were back in action. A few people decided not to risk it but most rolled the dice.

The little girls

We had dinner, talked, laughed and had it all wrapped up by 10:30. I loved it.

And the grownup girls

On New Year's Day, as I had encounters with those who were up late into the night and, while it may not be for all, ending early suited me fine.

Hope the new year rang in healthy and happy for your family and best wishes for 2014.